I find “work-life balance” to be a rather odd phrase, as it seems to suggest that work is the opposite of life! Or at least, that work is at odds with life. Or that when we are working we cease to experience life! (Now I must admit, I’ve worked in some offices where it was difficult to find signs of intelligent life, but even in those situations I didn’t feel like I was putting my life on hold.)
Think about it. Our work sucks up a fairly substantial chunk of our lives – close to half of our waking hours (if not more). So is the implication of trying to balance work with “life” that we are dead for 1/3 of our lives? That we enter some sort of suspended animation or walking coma at 8:00 every morning, only to be magically reincarnated at 4:30 in the afternoon as we resume our life amongst the living?
Instead, what if we considered the words of Luci Swindoll,” “We need to stop looking at work as simply a means of earning a living and start realizing it is one of the elemental ingredients of making a life.”
And what if we reminded ourselves that work can give great meaning to our lives. That it impacts our lives in so many ways beyond a paycheck. Work affects our mental and physical health, our families, our attitudes, our creativity, our personal growth, where we live, who we socialize with, and on and on.
Work has an enormous impact on our life, just as our off-work hours impacts the time we spend at work.
So why not strive to create a great life? Period. One that includes a great workplace as part of making a great life.
Michael Kerr, May, 2011 www.mikekerr.com
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Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
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Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
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Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics